Eat Hard / Play Hard / The Good, Bad, and Crunchy

A Lazy Brewing Sunday

I’m on the West Coast for a time!  I’ll be back in Chicago in the coming months to blog away (of course), but until then I’m back in Canada, having the time of my life with the best of friends.

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“Lazy” is a fluid word for Sunday.  Yes, I spent time with some of my best friends who I’ve missed from death did I part, but we did so much together just enjoying everyone’s presence, falling back into old habits and old banter.

We shared brunch. Waffles with farm blackberries with cinnamon, and slightly sweetened cream before starting to brew beer.

waffles and berries

I love brewing.  There’s nothing so simultaneously stressful and calming.  Measuring exactly (sort of), maintaining temperature (sometimes), and keeping things sanitized (always).  I love doing things the way my grandma did, but today it was about grandpa.

Grain and the Boil

I remember the first time I started brewing.  I went to a friend’s house, whose nephew was over.  He was racing around, excited to just participate.  Walking through the kitchen, I overheard him asking his mum “Girls can brew beer too?” I laughed my way through the rest of the day, watching him have fun with the boy and girl brew buddies, learning everything that could go (almost) wrong.

First Sparge

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And Sunday was really no exception.  After struggling and moving between three different  enormous pots on one smaller countertop, having to use the floor and maintaining a consistent temperature we were in business.

The beer is called “saison du bain”.  We cooled it in the bathtub and moved it into the carboy in the (freshly cleaned) bathroom.

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There’s a lot of down time while brewing.  I spent mine working on a few projects for work.  Lauren spent hers baking a chocolate orange marmalade birthday cake for her roommate (it. was. divine.).  And Patrick spent his with Oscar.

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Best of friends.

All three of us are foodies, winos, beer geeks, and full-time lazy chefs.  Dinner was simple and magnificent.  Roasted cauliflower with Parmesan, wild salmon with an orange whiskey glaze, browned butter gnocci with a lightly dressed red leaf lettuce salad.

I haven’t felt so at home in a long time.

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Much as I love Chicago and all it holds for me in my future, there is absolutely nothing like being home with friends of 13 years, family, the ocean, and the streets that seem a little kinder.  The hustle and bustle of the big city seems far away around a kitchen table.

Five dollars says I’ll be writing a new, tear stained post crying for Chicago in a month!

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